Awesome! My brother …

Awesome! My brother introduced me to a musical group from the South Pacific called Te Vaka. I liked the music so much I ripped two CDs to my hard drive and then because I listen to Radio Paradise so often, uploaded a song called Te namo. Within an hour I had received an email back from Rebecca, one of the people at RP who said they really liked it and were wondering if I had a version ripped to a higher bit rate. A few days later I’m plugging away at some code at work, listening to RP and what do I hear but Te namo streaming from their servers. For some reason this gives me happy goosebumps.

Bush, Big Business and Iraq: I just realized that one of the reasons ‘the plan’ to oust Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq is public knowledge is that the Bush administration needs it to be public knowledge. The Bush administration plans to spend $396.1 billion on military operations and national defense in the 2003 fiscal year. The best way to spend this much money is to launch a large, senseless military campaign against another country. Instead of sending in a few small groups of highly-trained infiltrators and assassins to get the job done quickly (and in comparison, cheaply), Bush is rewarding the defense and military industries, which are also considered Big Business. It makes me ill to think that there might be such an hidden agenda and that the American public are being told that such a ‘war’ in Iraq is needed. By going public with the whole Iraq thing, the Bush administration gains enough of the support they need from the American public to spend so much money, even though not a single country has come out and said they will support the U.S. if they go through with the plan. [links via The One to Go]

Mark A. Hershberger writes in to point out that assassination is illegal under U.S. and International law, even though as it is written the U.S. breaks those laws regularly:

“According to U.S. and international law, conspiring to kill/destroy,
targeting, or killing/destroying civilian government buildings, or
civilian government officials, or any head of state is expressly and
strictly forbidden.”

I agree with Bush that Saddam Hussein is an evil man and that Iraq has suffered under his regime. I also agree that Hussein should be removed from power, if possible. But I do not agree that it will require a long and expensive military intervention in Iraq, funded entirely by U.S. taxpayers. I also realize that the U.S. must do what is needed to prevent Hussein from developing nuclear weapons. I’m just not convinced that the little bits of news we’re hearing about the plan are the correct approach.

Criminy, here’s an eye-opening article about the motivations behind the Bush administration’s push towards a war in Iraq.

Timothy Wilken proposes that we let the free enterprise market take care of Hussein by placing a bounty on his head; a very large bounty somehwere in the neighborhood of a billion dollars. If successful, the cost would be a fraction of the what would be spent in a traditional military campaign.

The $3.3 billion that the executive management ‘earned’ from these in-the-news bankrupt companies is considered pocket change to how much money we’re talking about when it comes to military spending.

Request: I’ve been digging around for a simple CGI script that will let an end user upload photos and build a basic photo album, similar to Yahoo Photos, but with fewer features. Everything I have found has been too overloaded with features or too complex to install. Not surprisingly, the only one I considered using is one that is used by the people who create porn web sites, but I’m afraid to install it on my server/account because I fear the script may have a back door or something that will expose my site to the wrong people. Send me your links to simple (and trusted) photo album scripts and I’ll compile a list here.

Russia’s 12 Robber Barons. I find it interesting that there are only 7 billionaires in Russia, and most of them became rich within the past decade by taking advantage of the collapse of the Former Soviet Union, using political influnce, mafiya (Russian spelling) tactics, and sheer force to take over control of the big oil/gas and aluminum companies, previously controlled by the Russian government.

It’s also important to realize that the crash of Russia’s banks in August of 1998 was highly influenced by the fact that the rich in Russia were engaging in capital flight, the act of moving their money to offshore accounts instead of keeping it in Russian banks. This makes me look twice at the act of American corporations using Bermuda and the Cayman Islands as their company headquarters. The conglomerate Tyco Corporation (basically a diverse holding company) whose stock has been in the toilet for a while is based in Bermuda. While it’s not necesarily illegal to base a multi-national corporation out of a small island nation, it sure does raise a lot of red flags in light of the recent accounting scandals and huge bankrupties.

Nando Times: Bush acknowledges tax haven problem

In 2001, 26 companies now located in Bermuda or another tax haven had more than $1 billion in federal contracts, according to Democratic research. More than two-thirds had projects related to defense or homeland security.

Pulled from an email:


Years          Number
0-4            2,270
5-9            1,386
10-14          1,999
15-19          1,380
20-24          1,167
25-29            578
30-34            839
35-40            238

SF Gate: Learning to love Big Brother George W. Bush channels George Orwell Cute!

Posted by Cameron Barrett at August 1, 2002 07:08 PM

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